Is Formaldehyde Taking Over Your Lives?


It is not just the fish and chicken lovers who need to beware of consuming poison but the same is also true for the cosmetic users (which is practically everybody). You might be moving towards cancer.

Unscrupulous cosmetic and food manufacturers are, and have been for quite some time using chemical compound called formaldehyde and its derivatives in their products.


Basically used to increase the shelf life of a product, it is used mainly as a preservative. For a long time now, formaldehyde is being used by fish transporters to reduce rotting of the fish substantially during transportation to areas where it is not available locally. The fish are washed in a solution of formalin before being transported. The same fish when consumed by humans enters the blood stream and due to a continuous exposure, accumulates in the body, posing a much greater risk for acute health hazards and chronic illnesses.

Formaldehyde is an extremely dangerous and toxic chemical, over exposure to which can result in serious problems and even death. According to an article published in India Today, just 30 ml of a solution containing about 35% formaldehyde is enough to kill a person. And many studies have shown that exposure to formaldehyde or formalin (aqueous solution of formaldehyde) substantially increases risk of developing cancer, especially leukemia.

Formaldehyde is also used to preserve chicken and other meat because this chemical also acts as a disinfectant. Its disinfectant properties make it a chosen ingredient in certain cosmetic products, antibacterial hand washes, and insecticides and pesticides. Formaldehyde is also a very common ingredient in nail polishes, eyelash glue, hair-smoothing products, baby shampoo, body washes and colour cosmetics. In fact hair smoothing products, especially those available in salons, should be avoided completely as salons in many countries are exempt from labelling laws.

In a market plagued with toxic chemicals, it is time we become watchful of what we consume and apply on our skin. Beware of this chemical in your food and cosmetics and avoid products containing formaldehyde, quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM) hydantoin, imidazolindinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate etc. (the full list is available on

TIW Bureau

TIW Bureau

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